Author Archive

Writing a Home for All My Ghosts

A home doesn’t feel like a home when there are structures built to immortalize those who dehumanized entire populaces. But it feels a little more like home when we’re marching, when we fill spaces with our bodies, our friends, our loves, our strangers, shouting out the names of the

The Grounding Power of the Past

The gravitational pull of the physical is a placeholder for the mental, emotional, and spiritual work that Sarah M. Broom’s 2019 book, and the stories within, is doing.

Breaking the Borders of Memories, Ghosts, and Shadows in The Lost Book of Adana Moreau

Michael Zapata’s new novel is a story about stories, literature about literature, a universe about universes. Memories, ghosts, and shadows all guide the protagonists as they try to keep their stories and homes and loves with them.

Reading City Without People: The Katrina Poems in an Isolated New Orleans

There’s a line in Niyi Osundare’s 2011 book that goes, “Enia lasoo mi,” which translates from Yoruba to English as, “People are my clothes.” Waking up to a seemingly emptied New Orleans, Christopher Romaguera had that line on his mind.

Language and Fronteras in Signs Preceding the End of the World

In Yuri Herrera’s 2009 novel, borders can be impenetrable surfaces, and language can open doors that can’t so easily be locked back.

The Power of Oral Stories in The Distant Marvels

Keeping the stories, the myths, the facts, and the losses of the Cuban people alive is important. Telling these stories is an act of active resistance against the washing away of the Cuban people who have toiled under colonizers and dictators.

Reading Kiese Laymon’s Heavy: An American Memoir

When I read Laymon’s recent memoir, I had a visceral reaction. It reminded me why I started writing. It made me wonder if my writing reaches my peoples and keeps us revising and growing in our stories. If writing protects us from the silence of memories lost.

Inherited Trauma in We Cast a Shadow

What the narrator of Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s debut novel doesn’t fully comprehend is that he is worried about his son inheriting trauma from him. Inheriting something that cannot be wiped away.

The Burning Home in Purple Hibiscus

Living under a dictatorship means watching your homeland, your home, catch fire. You can leave and hope that all your loved ones make it out too, or you can stay and fight, hoping you don’t die from the burns—under a dictatorship, no one gets away.

Reading and Writing to a Home

I read Bryan Washington’s debut short story collection as I helped my family pack up my childhood home in Miami. I had moved to New Orleans over eight years before—close enough to drive back down, but still three states and a world away.